After the successful acquisition of Atmel earlier this year, Microchip is ramping up its product strategies to redefine its position in microcontroller product portfolio. In an exclusive viz-a-viz with Ganesh Moorthy | COO | Microchip Technology, he unfolded company’s forthcoming product portfolio and strategies to bring integrated offerings to cater new segments of the market. Edited Excerpts.
How will the two company’s 32-bit products be complementary?
Many of the 32-bit MCU products are largely complementary because of their different strengths and focus. For example, the SAM series has specific families targeting lower power consumption and 5 volts where PIC32 has families more optimally suited for audio and graphics solutions. We plan to continue investing in both SAM and PIC32 families of products.
Will Atmel’s START support the 8-bit AVR line in addition to 32-bit processors?
Yes, although it is too early to commit to any specific dates at this early stage, we consider modern rapid prototyping tools, such as START and the MPLAB Code Configurator, strategic for the our customers to deliver innovative and competitive solutions in this fast-paced industry.
Both companies have an extensive list of partners to provide customers with technical expertise, consulting services, hardware and software design and manufacturing services. How will the company manage the partners from both companies?
We value all of our partner relationships which now include IAR and Keil. These partnerships are an important part of the Atmel “classic” story particularly for SAM and ARM class devices, as well as AVR. We will continue to foster these relationships, along with and as part of Microchip’s Worldwide Design Partner network and Third Party vendor networks.
Now that Microchip has a complete portfolio of low-power, inexpensive 32-bit microcontrollers, will the focus on 8-bit product be inevitably reduced?
No, we see that in actual embedded control applications there is still a large demand for the type of qualities that are uniquely provided by an 8-bit product such as: ease-of-use, 5V operation, robustness, noise immunity, real time performance, long endurance, integration of analog and digital peripherals, extremely low-static power consumption and more. We don’t think that the number of bits is an appropriate/ sufficient way to classify a complex product such as the modern microcontroller. We believe that having the right peripherals is actually what matters most.
How do the security portfolios from both companies align?
Atmel and Microchip security products are complementary. Atmel had a large portfolio of crypto companions and secure MPUs. Microchip has a large portfolio of hardware-based crypto enabled MCUs and a vast portfolio of security software solutions. Together, the portfolios create a comprehensive set of security solutions to meet customer requirements.
Did Atmel have a memory product portfolio that overlapped with Microchip’s?
Yes, Atmel and Microchip both offer serial EEPROM product lines with significant overlap. All products that are in production will continue to be available for purchase and no EOL’s are planned.
Microchip has a broader memory product line that includes serial flash, parallel flash and serial SRAM that Atmel did not offer. And Atmel has parallel EEPROM and EPROM products that Microchip did not offer.
How is Microchip addressing the Wi-Fi® product offering from Atmel?
Atmel’s brings a highly competitive Wi-Fi portfolio in the areas of low power, small size and low cost. The Atmel and Microchip Wi-Fi product offerings have merged into a single unified offering. All products that are in production will continue to be available for purchase and no EOL’s are planned.
Is there analog product overlap between the two companies that will make any product redundant, where Microchip may obsolete either the Microchip or Atmel product?
We have no plans to obsolete any stand-alone products from either company since there is little to no overlap on the stand-alone analog product families. We are combining the temperature sensor offerings, as well as the CAN, LIN and power conversion products as we have identified product strengths on both sides.
What is your roadmap for future products?
While we don’t disclose the specifics of our roadmaps publicly, we are committed to expanding our portfolio to meet the demand of our customers.